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What If? Nick Ratings for Your Dream Mating


I don't own Hasili (IRE) (pedigree). 

To provide a quick recap of that mare's record as a broodmare, I'll just say she got off to a "slow" start with Dansili (GB), her first foal:  he was merely a multiple group II winner.  The five foals following -- the mares Banks Hill (GB), Heat Haze (GB), and Intercontinental (GB), and the stallions Cacique (IRE) and Champs Elysees (GB) -- all took group/grade I contests.  Her first six foals have combined for nearly $7.1 million in earnings.  There are some decent stallions out there whose progeny haven't hit $7 million in lifetime earnings -- for a mare, it's unheard of.

So, it's not surprising that I don't own Hasili.  If I did, though, I have a few ideas for her future breedings.

One thing those six Hasili foals have in common is that they descend from the Danzig sire line.  I'm not one to question such a well-established pattern, so sons and grandsons of Danzig would be on my list.  Here's how a few of the hypothetical matings would look, based on sons of Danzig:

  • Hard Spun (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns an A++ rating (view the report).  I like this match for a lot of reasons.  Hard Spun is an exciting new opportunity for the Danzig line in the U.S.  In this specific match, we get a 4 X 4 cross to Roberto -- a nice pattern that helps the resulting foal both on the track and in a future breeding career.
  • War Chant (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns an A++ rating (view the report), and has the same Roberto inbreeding as with Hard Spun.
  • Brahms (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns an A++ rating (view the report).  Again, this match yields a nice inbreeding pattern, this time to Blushing Groom (FR).
  • Exchange Rate (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns an A++ rating (view the report). A 5 X 4 cross to Nijinsky II further expands the Northern Dancer line-breeding that Hasili and Danzig create.
  • Dove Hunt (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns an A++ rating (view the report).  If you'd prefer to avoid inbreeding as much as possible while still going with a Danzig-line stallion, Dove Hunt will fit the bill.

I went a little further in my "window-shopping" for a new cross for Hasili, this time not looking at the sire line, but instead focusing on female families.  I came up with two more matches:

  •  Religiously (pedigree) is an Alleged half-brother to Danzig.  While this cross has not had nearly the same opportunity or overwhelming success as Danzig/Kahyasi (IRE), the Alleged/Ile de Bourbon nick has proved to be a promising one, earning an A++ rating from TrueNicks.  (View the report.)  So in addition to the strong sire line nick, we see the family of Danzig -- it would seem hard to miss here.  (Sadly, Religiously died several years back and didn't produce an heir -- but I thought the cross was fun to look at anyway.)
  • Leroidesanimaux (BRZ) (TrueNicks,SRO) - earns a C+ rating (view the report) based on a couple of listed winners and a group III-placed horse.  This match creates a Rasmussen Factor inbreeding to Kerali (GB) (dam of Hasili and second dam of Leroidesanimaux), and also has a 3 X 4 cross of Blushing Groom.  The C+ rating is lower than the threshold generally recommended by TrueNicks, but I think the strength of the inbreeding scheme would make the cross worth further consideration.

While considering Hasili's potential mating, I ran TrueNicks reports on several stallions, and came up with everything from As and Bs to Ds and worse.  I thought it might be fun to hear what you think would be a neat cross.  Pick your favorite race mare and your favorite stallion -- this is all for fun, so choose Rags to Riches or Zenyatta if you want! -- and see what kind of TrueNicks ratings you produce.  Please share your results (and any other feedback) in the comments section below.

The full roster of stallions with complimentary TrueNicks reports can be found here.

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I think the highest ratings I've been able to get were for Cryptoclearance/Rags To Riches, Any Given Saturday/Rags to Riches, and Tiznow/Rags to riches.

I'm also trying Tiznow with a variety of mares because I think his pedigree is absolutely the BEST!

Chrystal 26 Nov 2008 11:39 AM

I would like to see Better Than Honour go to Bernardini. You would have a 6x5x6 inbreeding to Bold Ruler, and you would get another dash of Nasrullah, Bold Ruler's sire through Red God, the sire of Blushing Groom, the broodmare sire of Better Than Honour. Nasrullah also shows up via Mr. prospector and Never bend in this pedigree. You would also get a 5x5 inbreeding to Northern Dancer. And I do love Dr. Fager in a pedigree, and there would be inbreeding to him, as well, via Bernardini's broodmare sire Quiet American, who is inbred to Dr. Fager 3x2. And Better Than Honour has had wonderful results with A.P. Indy and his son Mineshaft.

Janesville Liz 26 Nov 2008 11:42 AM

My Mating Would Be Rags To Riches And Curlin, You Could Have Foal AThat Wins Every Thing

Rags Fan 26 Nov 2008 12:56 PM

I thought I had read that Hasili was going back to England to Oasis Dream. And seriously, you would send a mare with five G1 winners to War Chant (still overpriced at $15,000) or Dove Hunt!!! That is taking that True Nicks rating too seriously and not paying any attention to things such as stallion quality which I think is much more important. If not Oasis Dream, I would look at Danehill Dancer (another Danehill son), Green Desert (sire of Heat Haze) or perhaps Pivotal in England. If she were staying in the US I would breed to Smart Strike.

  • Scot's reply:  Based on both physical match and the affinity of their pedigrees, I would consider Hard Spun the most likely Danzig-line stud in the U.S. for Hasili.  You're absolutely correct, nicks are just one tool in the process of matching a stallion to your mare!  I provided the other examples just to show that even amongst stallions from a distinct sire line, there are always additional pedigree influences.  Thanks for the great comment!
Elaine 26 Nov 2008 1:44 PM

What about Authenticate? I feel that he would be a good match. I also think that he is totally underestimated!

Smokey 1570 26 Nov 2008 2:24 PM

Bring the great Sadler's Wells[Northern Dancer] out of retirement and mate with Hansili.Offspring would be King of the turf.What other stallion can match his record for Grade 1 wins and turf champions-NO ONE!!!

G K Tatoian 26 Nov 2008 2:28 PM

I think a dream mating would be Authenticate with Smart Surprise. Just wish that I owned one of them.

Smokey 1570 26 Nov 2008 2:41 PM

Hard Spun should have run in the Breeders cup turf mile , his half brother War Chant was sensational in the  turf classic and its too bad Hard Spun never had a chance to run on turf.He would have been very forminable on turf especially ata mile.

G K Tatoian 26 Nov 2008 3:02 PM

The pedigree database doesn't show any foal for Hasili since 2005. Is she having fertility problems?

  •  Scot's reply:  Nope -- Hasili had a Storm Cat filly in 2007 and an Empire Maker filly this May.  Probably just haven't made it into the PedigreeQuery.com database yet.
AnneM 26 Nov 2008 3:13 PM

I accept this is a fun type challenge but we're talking about one of the truly great post WW2 war brood mares.  Class is what matters here and as I understand it, the main reason she was shipped to the USA was to breed a Storm Cat and or an Empire Maker colt foal.  Both threw fillies, which on one hand is unfortunate, but would you chuck these out.

From now on it's a given she'll be mated with homeboy Juddmonte stallions

Dalziel 26 Nov 2008 4:20 PM


So a son of Opren on the cross/pedigree of Northerm Dancer/Habitat Mare may be successful, his named is War Crime, and his dam is Zoyce [by zizal]. Is it a good Nick? I plan to breed my mare Nostalgia in 2009 to War Crime.

trevor 26 Nov 2008 4:22 PM

I found out I've been spelling this filly's name wrong, there are 2 Ls!  This is the Jerkens filly that won the Matron stakes (G2) at Belmont this year.

I ran her with Dixieland Band and didn't do so hot, a D!  I tried her with Curlin and did a little better, a B.

Then I found Tiznow.  Shouda thought of him first.  Same cross as Tiz Wonderful -- and it gets an A + +.  

Doremifasollatido 26 Nov 2008 8:52 PM

Hasili to Galileo (IRE)

VP 26 Nov 2008 9:12 PM

Nice upgrade, at least from a TrueNicks perspective for Rags to Riches.

Giant's Causeway, a "D" TrueNick, is the sire of her first foal (to be), but they have backed it up with HenrytheNavigator, an "A" rating. The "turfer" over a "dirter" angle might make it hard though. If she were mine, Distorted Humor would get first pick (A++), especially at his reduced fee.

With Zenyatta, I would think that you would have to go with Giant's Causeway (A++) same as Shamardal and the recent stakes winner Model. You would at least get one that was going to go a route of ground.

As for Zarkava, I wonder if the Aga Khan would think outside the box and send her to Indian Charlie (A+) or even better his sire In Excess? It worked for Gainsborough when they sent a mare in Note Musicale to In Excess and got Musical Chimes.

Agnesworld 26 Nov 2008 11:46 PM

Congaree and Azeri for an A++ rating! Imagine a foal strong enough to run 120 Beyers from 8-10 furlongs!

Anglokraut 27 Nov 2008 1:30 AM

I have always wondered what a colt by Smarty Jones and Better Than Honour might be like, so I tried this hypo-mating on TrueNicks.  An A++ -- oh YEAH, baby !!!

GARY IN SALT LAKE 27 Nov 2008 11:10 AM

My dream foal never to be was always Proud Citizen x Toussaud.  There's more to life and breeding than a nick (this was an A).  I was more attuned to the inbreeding to Nearctic and Natalma through the full sibs Northern Dancer and Arctic Dancer.

Manistique has long held my interest just because I consider her a tricky mare to breed.  You end up inbreeding close to just about all the major commercial sirelines (and get lousy nicks to most of them using this system, which is why no one should ever consider any statistic as gospel).  Her Storm Cat and Elusive Quality foals are Ds.

Hard Spun might be interesting (A).  A branch of Distorted Humor may also work (A+ to him or his sons)

The best score is Doneraile Court (A++ 314.09 variant) and it does actually nick Doneraile Court to Unbridled rather than Seattle Slew to Unbridled/Fappiano/Mr. Prospector.  Of course, the truenick system can only come up with three stakes horses so I'm sure the grade and/or variant will change and would therefore consider this an anomaly that will self-correct over time.

For comparison, Manistique to Slew City Slew is also an A++ but has a paltry 7.40 variant (Slew City Slew over Fappiano).  AP Indy is the same A++ but a 7.38 variant (AP Indy over Fappiano).  Chief Seattle nicks as Seattle Slew over Unbridled at A++ and 10.99.  I would expect DC's numbers to eventually fall in line with those numbers.

The only other A++ nicks I've found would be a branch of Wild Again (Offlee Wild rates a 15.46 variant) or Successful Appeal (Closing Argument nets a 7.07 variant).

Sam 28 Nov 2008 2:16 AM

Lemon Drop Kid and Ouija board, A++ with a 14.21 variant.  They missed a trick breeding her to Kingmambo...

SamNotSpam 28 Nov 2008 6:50 AM


Re the Doneraile Court - Manistique cross. The TrueNicks rating isn't so much an anomaly, as the result of a very specific source.

We recommended crossing Doneraile Court with Grindstone mares because Doneraile Court's dam is by a grandson of Turn-to out of a mare by Dunce, and Grindstone is out of a mare by Drone (by a son of Turn-to, out of Cap and Bells, a sister to Dunce).

There have so far been two starters and two stakes winners on this specific cross. It's not so much an anomoly, as success with a very specific cross (which the TrueNicks page reveals). Of course, I wouldn't expect the cross to maintain its 100% strike rate if tried more frequently, but it does make you wonder what would happen if stallions were extensively bred to the right mares!

Alan Porter 28 Nov 2008 8:40 AM

War Pass- Ariege got an A++

Curlin- Ariege got an A+

After Market- Ariege only got an C, but could be something special

nakayama 28 Nov 2008 2:04 PM


I understand what you're saying, but the point is the nick shows as Doneraile Court to Unbridled, not Doneraile Court to Grindstone (at least, not yet) and for the laymen who are looking for the simplest answer and give nick ratings far more weight than they should, they won't bother to or can't understand this was focused inbreeding between two specific horses.

That means they are going to interpret "Doneraile Court x Unbridled" as exactly what it says -- IOW any Doneraile Court line stallion over any Unbridled line mare.  IOW, they will expect the same results from a Ruler's Court x Broken Vow mare mating because, in black and white print, that is what the TrueNick report tells them.

Sam 28 Nov 2008 3:34 PM


I think we are actually in agreement in a sense - as this points out the need to carefully interpret the rating.

If we really were contemplating Doneraile Court over Manistique, one of the questions we would ask is "how has Doneraile Court worked with Unbridled?" Well the answer is that he hasn't had a starter out of a mare by Unbridled, and has only three starters out of mares by sons of Unbridled. As it turns out, two of those are out of mares by Grindstone.

Now, that might not be the same as with an Unbridled mare, but we can consider this: Seattle Slew sired Doneraile Court - a high-class runner - out of a mare with the Hail to Reason/Tom Fool/Ghazni combination close up in the pedigree.

Unbridled sired Grindstone - a Kentucky Derby winner out of a mare with the Hail to Reason/Tom Fool/Ghazni combination. So - at least far as this cluster is concerned - Seattle Slew (and subsequently Doneraile Court) and Unbridled have a similar affinity, thus it's not astonishing if they work together.

I do take your point, but looking at Ruler's Court/Broken Vow - we see that Ruler's Court has a dam with a reverse Tom Fool/Hail to Reason cross to the dam of Doneraile Court, two thirds of the same cluster. Broken Vow who is from the same female line as Doneraile Court, and has Blushing Groom and Nijinsky II, who both have important tags to Tom Fool.

The answer is: if I looked at Ruler's Court/Broken Vow, I would see it was A++. I would also see that the rating was due to two stakes winners out of mares by Grindstone. Further investigation would lead me to see that the Hail to Reason/Tom Fool/Ghazni cluster had worked with both sire lines, pointing towards potential shared affinities. The commonalities in the pedigrees of Ruler's Court and Broken Vow would suggest to me that this was potential a good way to go.

Oddly enough, that the Doneraile Court/Grindstone cross is an extension of an on going affinity is born out if we look at Doneraile Court with a mare by Cryptoclearance. This also rates A++ even though it is on the basis of a much more frequently tried cross and includes stakes winners out of mares by Lil Fappi and Roy.

So, although I absolutely agree that one shouldn't take a cross like this at face value, without investigation, I do think that in general Doneraile Court is a good cross for Fappiano line mares, all other things being equal.

Thanks for your astute comments and for helping us underline how important careful interpretation of this data is.

Alan Porter 28 Nov 2008 8:53 PM

how about crossing mien with medaglia d'oro.A+ 5.89 inbreeding to ND 4x3 damascus4x4 and the great mare special 5x3. I don't know if it is too much inbreeding but I think it would be a good foal

darryl 29 Nov 2008 10:05 PM

I've always wondered how Monsun mares would do with dirt horses, especially with my favorite stallion Tiznow. I doubt it's ever going to happen, though, so here's to some big dreaming for some stamina horses!

Justine 30 Nov 2008 2:51 AM

Why not try Rags to riches with Holy Bull, there's no inbreeding and got an A++. I also thought she and any given saturday would be, and the also got an A++

LDP 30 Nov 2008 9:16 AM

The highest True Nick I've come across is Medaglia d'Oro with Mom's Legacy, a mare in the Louisiana Breeders Program (A++ 33.35 variant).

Lap 30 Nov 2008 11:00 AM

As someone who has a great deal of fun playimg hypotheticals,I ran Empire Maker a young stallion on the way up with the prolific Danehill line we have here in Australia and got the same rating A++ with 131 varient for Makybe Diva(Desert King),Forensics (Flying Spur), Private Steer,(Danehill Dancer) and Merlene (Danehill). All very encouraging for Judmotte to consider shuttling they would get $150k a throw for him down here.

Aussie Stu 05 Dec 2008 12:17 AM

With the imminent retirement of record-breaking mare Peppers Pride, Byron Rogers offers his suggestion as to a suitable mating for 2009, and turns it over to you to make yours.

TrueNicks 16 Dec 2008 3:22 PM

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